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Old 04-26-2013, 06:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default another vacation thread - having your cats stay at someone else's house..

hi! it's been a long time since i've posted, but i am interested in some opinions. my husband and i are going on a 2 week trip next month, and we have 2 indoor only cats. they are each 2, and have never left the house before except to go to the vet.

one of my friends offered to have them stay at their house for the 2 weeks. we've always had friends come and visit the cats at home while we were on vacation, but having them stay at someone else's house is new to us. in addition, this will be the longest we will be away from them; the longest before was one week. also, my friend has a cat of her own.

any tips/suggestions on this? thanks!
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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We had to do this when we were Sicily with our Annie. We had vacation planned months in advance and hubby's mother was flying over from the states to visit so the dates could NOT be changed - and Annie was pregnant and DUE during the time we would be traveling through Europe. I finally convinced someone to take her in while we were gone and it was awful for her.

She hid in a closet and had her kittens all alone on a stack of dirty laundry. She hissed and growled at anyone that tried to come close. When we showed up to get her the kittens were 2 days old and she cried and cried with joy when she heard my voice!! It was pure joy. She was licking my hands and was SO happy to see me. I'm sure she thought she'd been abandoned but there just was nothing different I could have done.

Go. Do the best you can and make it up to them when you get back. Short of having someone stay at your house there are few options. They won't be happy, but the reunion will be sweet.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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A friend of mine is leaving her cat with us for a week in May. In this case I agreed to it for a bunch of reasons. Here's my check list:

-what is the cats reaction to stress/change? (Scared, litter box issues, not concerned, ext)
-has the cat been away from home ever? Or, how did they handle a move? (Bad reactions include hiding for days, plus the above)
-is the intent to keep it separate?

In our case my friends cat is 10, has moved multiple times, has lived happily with a variety of pets and people (after a short settling in time), has no litter box issues, and over all is a calm kitty. She has stayed with us before, and I have no intention of integrating her with my cats. She'll stay in a sunny room with her normal litter box, small scratcher, and toys from her home. Shell be fed her normal food, and will get more attention than if I had to Ho to my friends hone to visit her.

In this sort of a situation its a win-win.

Would I ever do this with all of my cats? Nope. The boys would be fine at another home if there were no cats they would he interacting with....but jitzu can't be apart from them and she does not do well with change. Torri....doesn't really even like to leave her own room, let alone our home.

It depends on your cats, their experiences, and - more than anything- their personalities

Becky and the cats: Jitzu (11), Torri (9), Doran (, and Muffin (
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Like others said it depends on your cats. We were going to watch sil's cat for a week but he hates other cats and got all of my cats upset. He doesn't like being alone and hates being locked up in a room so it just would cause too much stress for all the animals. If your cats never been to a new environment they will probably hide the whole time and not eat . That is typical of cat. They may be ok but they may also freak out.

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Old 04-26-2013, 10:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think it depends on the cat. My two would be much happier at home with a petsitter a few times a day.
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Old 04-27-2013, 01:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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My cats stayed with someone else once for a few weeks while I was relocating and temporarily staying with friends, and they did pretty well with it. The person who was caring for them did not have any other pets, though. Both of my cats are also very friendly and outgoing, so I think that made a difference as well.
I do think the experience could be traumatic for some cats, especially the combination of a new environment, new people and other pets in the home. If you can have someone come to care for them at your house, that might be a better option.
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Old 04-27-2013, 02:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for your feedback! Always nice to hear about others experiences. We have fairly shy cats when it comes to strangers, but they come out eventually since they are so curious. They aren't very high stress and they don't have any litterbox problems but they have never been out of our home or encountered another cat before. We will probably bring them over to our friends before our trip and see how they handle that and maybe an overnight/weekend stay if it looks promising. Thanks again!

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Old 04-27-2013, 02:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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19-20 years ago I boarded my cat a couple of times and decided later that it must have been awful for him, but I had no choice.

since then I always leave my cats at home and look for someone to stay here while I am gone. if I can't find anyone to stay, I try to go with a neighbor so it won't be much trouble for them to pop in 2-3 times a day and I always pay them, and I only choose people I know and trust. (obviously, leaving them with my house key lol).

i'd be afraid to leave my cats at someone else's house even though they'd probably be okay. if they had an accident (although they never do here anymore) i'd feel terrible, if they ran away i'd feel terrible, etc. etc.

if you can't find someone to stay at your place, hire a professional sitter to come in. I kept a friend's cat once (only for a couple of days) and I felt horrible for the kitty. she hid and wouldn't eat and only came out from under the bed to use the litter box. I had two cats but they didn't bother her at all, she was just terrified to be away from home and peed on her owner when he came to get her.

even if you hire a professional, leave a very detailed checklist of things for them to do (complete with emergency numbers), don't assume anything: if you don't tell them specifically to do something, it probably won't get done. if you are very particular, write down exactly how you want something done. something I think is a no-brainer is, "rinse the empty food cans and throw them away in a trash receptacle the cats can't get into or better yet, take them with you when you leave and throw them away." same thing with litter. specify how often you want it scooped and leave poop bags so that the clumps (or whatever you use) can be thrown away immediately and won't leave your house nice and ripe for you to come home to. if you want their dishes washed after every meal, say so. tell them how often you want the water changed.
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My cats would be horrified to be out of their home and staying with strangers. I boarded them once and they didn't seem traumatized. If you have someone you trust to come in and check on them in their own home, I think that's the best solution, but not always possible.

Does anyone leave their cats for say, a long weekend, with extra food, water and litter? I think that might be ok if you can't afford a cat sitter or can't afford to board them.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:12 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Typically I have had a pet sitter come to my house to feed and play with my cat(s). It was always nicer for them to stay in their own environment and feel secure. They seem to do fine with human contact for a short time each day.
Funny story on topic... When I moved from one metro area to another I had a 6 week transition time (various trips back and forth) and left my cat with a friend. She was a bit nervous about taking care of a 16 year old cat since she had not had a pet for years. But it was the funniest experience. My quiet, easy-going cat had a personality (purrsonality?) change. She became quite vocal - bossing my friend and her family around for food, pats, even announcing when they should come to bed. I witnessed this when I came to stay a couple of times. When I moved her to our new home at the end of the 6 weeks, she reverted to her old personality and was just the same as always with me. I would scarcely have believed it if I had not seen her new behavior myself. Since that transition was so long it made sense for her to stay at someone else's house for the duration, but otherwise I am an enthusiastic supporter of daily pet sitters.
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